JUMP TO:

Strava Abruptly Ends 3rd Party Data Sync to Apple Health

Strava-Apple-Health-Settings

[Update – March 15th, Strava has reversed course and re-enabled Apple Health sync. Full details here.]

It’s been a few years since Strava has managed to irk the Internet, but over the last few days, they’ve unleashed a torrent of upset Apple users. If you’re an Android user, then this post probably won’t mean much to you. Instead, you can go look at old travel posts here for entertainment. But for Apple users who have (for years) used Strava’s ability to take 3rd party workouts (e.g. Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, etc…) synced to Strava, and insert them into Apple Health – that capability was abruptly killed off late last week. And with that, killing off many people’s ability to ‘complete their rings’ on Apple Health, especially Apple Watch users that primarily used other devices for sport/fitness for their workouts. This has also broken health insurance fitness points programs that utilize Apple Health as a repository for data, by which users often use Strava to populate that data.

Note that this does not impact those that record a workout directly within the Strava app, or from their Apple Watch itself. Those remain functional and update Apple Health. Further, Strava’s change was made by a backend server toggle, as such, it wasn’t tied to any specific Strava app update on your phone. So it impacted everyone, instantly.

But this change broke more than just ring-counting diehards, but also many other 3rd party apps that leverage Apple Health as a repository and exchange point for health/fitness data (which, was kinda the goal of Apple Health).

The Problem:

To back up slightly, and explain what people are upset about, you need to start with the realization and premise that Strava stopped being about ‘Segments’ years ago. Sure, those are important to a group of people (as are other features like routes and analysis). But for the vast majority of people (including myself), Strava actually represents two things at its core these days:

A) Social sharing platform for fitness people/activities
B) The singular platform that *every* health/fitness company integrates with

There’s not a single sport/fitness device I’m aware of that doesn’t integrate with Strava. Thus, it’s become the defacto interchange for sport/fitness data over the last few years. And while Strava undoubtedly touts that often, I don’t think they’ve fully grasped the downstream ramifications of that. Either in policy or technically. Sure, they have a 3rd party API that’s used by “tens of thousands” of developers, but that API has rate-throttling limits that make it challenging (and outright impossible) for many developers to grow. Strava often seems to treat their incredible adoption achievement with an air of disdain for the undercurrent of the very data sources and platforms that have made it successful.

And Thursday’s move is a good example of that. Without warning, they broke a lot of people. My inbox (of all types) has been flooded with messages. As have numerous Reddit threads, and Zwift forums, as well as threads across countless partner app/device company’s own websites/forums.

So let’s talk about what broke, by first explaining the simple path that some people use Strava for these days. Like many people on Strava, they’re actually recording their workout on another device (e.g. Garmin, Polar, Wahoo, COROS, etc…). So the workflow is as follows:

1) Record on a Garmin/Zwift/etc, syncs workout to Strava
2) Strava then pushes a copy of that workout to Apple Health
3) Other apps can use Apple Health data, including Apple’s own daily activity ‘Rings’

In the case of Thursday, Strava decided without notice to simply kill off ‘Step 2’ above. This meant that immediately, people’s workouts weren’t getting pushed to Apple Health. And because Strava has 100 million users, even just 1% of people impacted is a million people.

But it’s more than just rings. There are actually a lot of other apps/platforms that depend on data in Apple Health (or utilize it). For example, I recently published how Whoop has started leveraging it to improve accuracy, and other platforms that do training load use it too, as a means of tracking workout status. Further, in my specific case, I use this functionality in cases where a platform (like Casio or Samsung) doesn’t allow proper export of workout files (but they do correctly update Strava).

When Strava broke this, they simply updated a support page indicating that people should use their devices/app own direct connection:

SynctoAppleHeatlth

But that gets to a clear lack of understanding on Strava’s part about how this technology actually works. See, the reason people aren’t using those direct connections is because they suck. See, let’s take Garmin. In their case, sure, they push an activity/workout to Apple Health. But they don’t do it properly. Instead, they nullify all the workout heart rate data and don’t correctly write ‘Active Calories’, which means users don’t get credit for rings or some health insurance programs. Yes, this is dumb of Garmin (and at one point Garmin actually did send full HR data, at least a year ago, as I’ve got screenshots showing heart rate data from January 2021). But these inconsistencies are also kinda par for the course for many companies. Wahoo, and Suunto? They actually do it correctly. Woot!

And then you get apps like Zwift, which Strava again said “just enable the direct connection from Zwift”. Except again, that shows a lack of technical understanding of how this works. Yes, you can have Zwift push your workout to Apple Health – but *ONLY* if you actually execute the workout on your iPhone. No, not an iPad, or Apple TV, or PC, or anything else – as it won’t push both calories and heart rate (which are needed). It needs to be on your specific iPhone. That’s because Apple Health (and thus Health Kit), *ONLY* exists on an iPhone, and is only on your iPhone. Sure, there are people that Zwift with their iPhones, but I’m guessing most of them are doing it in a pinch. The companion app doesn’t count here. Which again, Zwift should fix and have the companion app properly push it to our phones, as they removed that feature for non-grandfathered users a few months ago – and even then that still required Apple Watch usage during Zwift.

And ultimately, I could do this for almost every app in Strava’s list. Over and over and over again. But the internet and Twitter has already done that for me.

The Fix:

So, why does Strava say they did it? I asked, and after some back and forth, here’s their official statement on it:

This update prevents duplicates of your activities being sent to your Strava account from both Garmin and HealthKit. Now, all of your friends can give you kudos on your single activity upload without being split between two duplicate uploads.

 

Because your Garmin writes directly to Apple HealthKit (just like it syncs your activities to Strava), the best way to get your data into HealthKit is straight from your Garmin.”

So from their perspective, they were trying to reduce people getting duplicate activities. This would occur when someone toggled the enablement in Strava, not realizing the implications. Or, perhaps they enabled this option in Strava years ago, and then also got around to more recently also-enabling it in a 3rd party app, not understanding why duplicates occurred. And yes, I agree, that’s definitely a valid problem for some users.

But Strava has made it a “throw out the baby with the bathwater” problem. The company has taken their pre-2020 stance that says “Nah, we won’t do any actual development or UI work to fix this”. That’s the same “it’s hard” stance they took when they killed off sensor support 2.5 years ago.

The thing – it’s just not that hard.

When a user toggles that option in Strava, in a matter of a trivial lookup in Apple Health, Strava can see if popular apps like Garmin Connect, Zwift, and others, are writing to Apple Health. It’s a simple HealthKit enumeration call. They can even see if there are recent workout data from those data sources. At which point they could pop-up a message that says “Yo, you might be about to create duplicates, are you sure?”.

And that’s it. They’re done. That’s all they had to do.

And if they wanted to spend more than three seconds on the effort, they could even use some of that developer magic to go a step further and proactively look in Apple Health prior to writing activity each time for duplicates of the exact same time/duration/source (since they know that too). After all, they already have de-dup logic on Strava’s platform. They know how to de-dup if that’s a concern. Will it fix every single instance of de-dup? Of course not. But will it address the vast majority? Absolutely.

Going Forward:

Strava-Going-Forward

Undoubtedly, Strava feels this isn’t their problem. In their answer, they see the solution as every other company fixing their integration with Apple Health. And sure, that’s a valid technical stance to take. But it’s not a valid consumer stance to take. First off, what company breaks a feature that’s been around for years with 0 minutes’ notice? And second, Strava’s solution is for you to spend less time with their platform.

I mean, that’s literally what they’re saying. The only response/solution is for you to set up sync to Apple Health that negates the need for Strava in the middle. I can’t imagine any company saying “Look, how about you don’t use our services?”. Instead, people are going to other 3rd party platforms like RunGap for sync, or to direct Apple Health analytics/sync apps like HealthFit. But this simply gives those entrenched in the Apple rings system fewer reasons to utilize Strava. It’s not likely anyone’s final straw, but it’s unnecessary straws.

And maybe Strava has done the business napkin math here. Though, I kinda doubt it. My conversations with them seem to clearly imply they don’t understand the technical ramifications of why their workarounds don’t actually work. Never mind that’s not a consumer-friendly practice anyways. And given Strava’s stated goal/shift over the last two years of being “for the athlete”, this move certainly doesn’t support that. And while the company has made tremendous strides over that time period in adding new features, it’s thoughtless changes like this that burn those bridges down.

Hopefully, Strava reverses course here. They demonstrated that disabling this feature was a simple backend toggle (and not an app update). So enabling it is equally a simple backend toggle. And then they could take proper next steps for a different de-duplicate solution if that’s truly causing them the support hardship they imply. Otherwise, Strava has simply taken their own internal problem and made it their customers’ problem. And that’s never a good business plan.

With that, thanks for reading.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked.
If you would like a profile picture, simply register at Gravatar, which works here on DCR and across the web.

You can click here to Subscribe without commenting

Add a picture

*

197 Comments

  1. I always wondered if there is some unique id for each activity that should avoid all this double posting and sync loops.
    This really can’t be that hard.

    • Ideally. But in this rare case, because the data source is precisely the same, de-dup should be trivial.

      Meaning, unlike a case where someone records on two different devices (e.g. Garmin + Apple Watch), and de-dup requires a rough overlay of similar activity types/durations, this is precisely the same dataset from both sources. So if I look at Apple Health, both dupes would be identical for the timestamp/duration components – and thus easily skipped.

    • Sam

      a sha256sum of the fit file should do it 🙃

      i wanted to make a job but that’s actually a viable solution…

      i think even watches cpu can compute this..

    • Eli

      If you just care about duplicates from a single recording some form of guid would be great. But really duplicates should be delt with by knowing the start and end times of the activities and realize a person can only do one activity at a time. That way you can easily handle the case of multiple recordings at one time and flag the duplicates as duplicates so calculations can ignore the duplicate activties that overlap.

      Really wish training platforms had this with an advanced option of take x metric from y recording for when you record on multiple devices for a reason

    • JM

      TrainerRoad dedupes no problem. If I run a TR workout as controllable while recording output to zwift for entertainment, the TR career page never duped, even though it automatically pulls in Strava activities (which included the zwift session). Training peaks always duped me and I would have to delete one.

    • Thomas

      Who in their right mind would record the same activity on two different devices? Next thing, you’ll tell me someone makes a living off that. 😉

    • Chris-net

      Sadly I had hoped I could link the heart rate data of my iwatch with the superior GPS receiver of the edge.

      Also if you ride with an edge and want to use the accident detection of an iwatch too (yes edge does accident detection too) you must use both.

    • “TrainerRoad dedupes no problem”

      You’re welcome. 😉

      No, really, TrainerRoad has long used my account passively (with my permission) as the master test for if their de-dup technology works, since I’ve got so many duplicate records for every ride (usually 3-5+). To their credit, they’ve done a crazy good job with it.

    • Leslie Harris

      Mostly the only time I would do this is on my WattBike Atom. Where I might want to use the Wattbike App, for its pedalling dynamics training, whereas I want to run my Garmin Tactix Delta as well so my Garmin Connect established performance and condition update correctly, as well as getting Garmin badges, which I know its sad, but are quite motivating for me. The challenge is the speed algorithm, which needed a lot of fiddling to become realistic, though an update seems to have improved this. Wattbike support were polite but ultimately useless. When I used to use Zwift, linked to Garmin connect on the Wattbike, I would end up with duplicated workouts, but it was easy enough to delete the Zwift one, then I simply stopped Zwift uploading to Garmin and problem solved. Since then I save myself a Zwift subscription (which I do miss) and a Strava Premium subscription (which I don’t).

      I gave up with Strava a couple of years back when they moved to their current pricing model, and basically didn’t really value the social networking benefits enough to pay for them. I get most of the Strava features I want in Garmin Connect without a monthly subscription, though limited to those people who use Garmin.

      Though I have apple devices (not a watch) I don’t really utilise Apple Health, except to look at HR, where it picks up my data from Garmin Connect and is actually more useful than Garmin, especially on resting HR which I am monitoring for early infection detection.

      I agree with DCR, that Strava have made a naive change here, as there could be a lot of subscriptions that basically just use this feature and it just makes people consider leaving the Strava ecosystem.

    • Rudi

      I ended my Strava subscription/membership because of this. And I gave them a message about it. I’m sure if there will be a trend following this cause of action, they might realize that it probably wasn’t the right move. Honestly I don’t think they will. But there’s no way I’m paying for a premium service, when they just removed it.

    • Andrew

      Although Strava have apologised and turned this back on, what they cannot fix is the luck of trust they have created. RunGap with swagbag is now supplying the feed to Health and it’s back to Garmin Connect for route planning. Plus it will save me money as I have killed my Strave premium subscription. Maybe Strava will learn something from this self-inflicted wound though I doubt it.

  2. Keith

    Is this the similar shortcut for scales ( withings) to get to Gar min Connect (withings to my fitness pal to GC). Granted much smaller ramifications, but wasn’t that turned off eventually?

    • My understanding is it actually still works today. Albeit, occasionally clunkily.

    • Ben

      Gods, I thought I was the only one using this clunky “workaround”. I thought there must be a better way I just hadn’t twigged…!

    • Ben

      Gods, I thought I was the only one using this clunky “workaround”. I thought there must be a better way I just hadn’t twigged…!

    • Paul S.

      I’m now using smartscalesync.com after using the MyFitnessPal workaround for many years for my Withings scale. It’s not free, but it hasn’t failed yet.

  3. chris benten

    I must be missing something…what is so great about Apple Health?? I have an Apple Watch…great for tracking HR and Blood O2 but I cannot see anything else useful. I wish I had spent the money on an F6 instead.

    Also, Strava wants to be Social? Really? Once was great for tracking segments on Zwift…now mostly nothing. I am now finding what ride info I want from Connect and Cheetah…Intervals looks interesting. I guess since I am anti-social I am missing the point.

    What it looks like to me is that Strava wants to be an endpoint and not a transitory point.

    • It depends on the person. The theory behind Apple Health is the singular repository for everything, and that does include workouts. In practice, workout data is somewhat iffy in Apple Health because it’s limited in terms of the data types it supports (in a standardized way). So it’s best for things that are more calorie/heart rate drive, than for something like cycling dynamics.

      In terms of Strava and socials, that’s literally one of the taglines they use: “Strava is the social network for athletes” listed at the top here (link to blog.strava.com).

      As for Strava – ultimately, the overwhelming message I hear from people is that while there’s occasional interest in segments, most just don’t care (especially non-cyclists). I think that’s mostly a factor of segment pollution (both in the quantity of segments, but also bad data on the segments), as well as the reality that even if you get through all that segment pollution, only the upper elite are ever going to be a KOM/QOM these days). Sure, you can race against your friends, which is arguably the more valuable aspect of it.

    • Mark J.

      I agree that Apple Health and the AW itself aren’t the best for pure fitness tracking. My AW is almost worthless as a heart rate monitor, especially since the last update, But it does so many other things so well if you’re into the whole Apple ecosystem. For instance, I can accept or decline a call from my watch. I can open and close the garage door from my watch. I can see email and text messages from my watch. I can even see the various cameras around my house in real time from my watch. So using the fitness tracking aspect of it just makes sense as opposed to having a pure fitness tracking watch. And as silly as it may sound to some, “closing the rings” is a motivating factor for many people. It makes you get out and exercise when you might otherwise blow it off.

    • Strava should 100% be highlighting “You’re Top 10 in your Friends & Followers” more on segments.

      It’s more Social and the figures will be better for everyone.

  4. Paris

    Hey Ray,

    Thanks for bringing this out!

    is there a way to use other 3rd party app? I can’t find my way with the HealthFit

    I’m just deleting my Strava account because Garmin segments working fine and all I need is to run against myself

    cheers from Greece,
    Paris

    • RunGap is what most folks are using here, as my understanding is that HealthFit is running up against limitations from Strava that RunGap isn’t.

    • Phil W

      Does Healthkit pull workouts in from Strava that can then be synced to apple health – looking at the app description it seems to be focussed on exporting to Strava?

    • No, HealthKit by itself doesn’t do anything. It’s basically a database that apps can tap into, but HealthKit doesn’t reach out and grab data from other apps/platforms.

    • Stéphane

      At the moment HealthFit does not have any issue with the limitations from Strava. HealthFit just does not import online from any fitness platforms, it only exports to the fitness platforms. You can however import into Apple Health any external .GPX/.TCX.FIT files with HealthFit.

    • Mark J.

      Like Ray says, RunGap works very well as a bridge from Strava to Apple Health for 3rd party apps. Just be prepared to pay a (very) small subscription fee for something that used to be included in Strava.

    • Michael

      i use rungap – it’s 3,99 3 Months / 10,99 a year but you can read and write data from everywhere to everywhere and it works fine.

  5. Matt

    I can see this as a potential way for maybe Strava to force those other companies to pay them for the syncing if they don’t want to do it themselves. As much as I dislike Strava for breaking a service that has been around forever, they are assuming all the risk here. You’d think they would have done that risk/benefit analysis.

  6. Scott Barnes

    Since when was it Stravas responsibility to be a data aggregator for all these third parties. True it may be technically easy to do this but it may be expensive from a data processing perspective. And more importantly, it should be for the other vendors to integrate properly with Apple if it’s really that important. To suggest Strava don’t understand their market is a nonsense.

    • “Since when was it Stravas responsibility to be a data aggregator for all these third parties”

      When they added the feature themselves a few years ago.

      Nobody said anything about not understanding their market.

    • Mark J.

      I pay for a Strava subscription because it did x,y, and z for me. Now it only does x and y while still charging me the same subscription cost as when it was handling the z portion.

    • John

      Exactly! No reason to keep my premium subscription any longer, and going forward I’ll be less likely to try and keep Strava in my data stream. Sing there app to record cycling activities is just not a viable solution for me.

  7. Phil W

    I have been experimenting how to get workouts/cycling distance into apple health from Zwift:
    1. From Strava – Yes, they have broken this. Was working fine before.
    2. From Zwift Companion app – For some reason this doesn’t support cycling distance – strange for a cycling app.
    3. Via Map My Ride – supposed to work, but no data appears in Apple Health at all.
    4. Via Garmin Connect – Does not support cycling distance data.
    5. Via Adidas Running – supposed to work and does support cycling distance, but not tried it yet.
    Note – I now have Wahoo set up to syncedirectly, so my outside rides come through. For those recording your outside rides on a garmin see point 4 above (works for everything but cycling distance).
    Assuming Adidas works when I try in (not guaranteed, but it does support cycling distance) I will be using a Strava competitor to do what I need – strange they should force me to do that.
    I know rungap works, but is costs money!
    Bear in mind in all cases you need to open the appropriate app on your iphone for it to send data to apple health.

    I also suggest those affected raise a ticket on Strava specifically asking for the feature back.

    Finally – Strava’s last mistake was when they removed external sensors for the Strava app – forcing people to use 3rd party devices to record workouts. Now they have removed feature support for workouts recorded on 3rd party devices. Makes no sense to me.

    • Duncan

      I use Garmin Connect to transfer cycling data to Apple Health without any problems, including calories and distance data.

      You need to open the workout in Garmin Connect app to get it to transfer.

    • Dermot O'Riordan

      You literally need to open each individual activity in Garmin Connect before it will sync to Apple Health?

      Is that right? Might explain why my wife was complaining that her runs, recorded on her Garmin Forerunner were not contributing to closing her rings on her watch

    • No, you don’t need to open an activity for Garmin Connect Mobile (GCM) to sync to Apple Health.

      You do however need to open GCM (the app) for it to force a sync to Apple Health, or, you can wait till it gets around to it on whatever its time schedule is. I talked about this a it in the Whoop/Garmin sync post, but there appears to be some background process that runs and pulls the data from Garmin to Apple Health (like most apps), but I haven’t quite nailed down precisely how the timing works. However, the fastest ‘always-works method, is just to re-open the app.

    • Rich

      If this is true Thant Garmin would work perfect for closing all 3 rings

    • Rich

      But how can we get Garmin to close the calorie ring?

    • It works in terms of putting data into Apple Health, but not perfectly, hence why it doesn’t close your rings. This is detailed a bit more in the post itself, but in short, Garmin isn’t properly writing Active Calories.

    • Liz

      I tweeted a Garmin yesterday about this and their reply: Hello! In general, Active Energy is calories from activities and Resting Energy is daily calories. If you have questions about how that information is displayed in Apple Health, please contact Apple Support directly. (KS)

    • kaz

      Garmin are just lazy.

      The will write some things to Apple HealthKit – but they won’t READ anything.

      So to get weight scale input from non-gamin scales into GC – you might be able to go through “MyFitnessPal” – but right now after latest updates that does not seem to work either.

      It is a huge issue. If I was Apple – I would insist on if a manufacture write to Apple Health – they will have to read relevant items too.

    • Andy

      I enabled Garmin to send activity to Health app since the beginning of this issue as a workaround. Yes, it does work but I noticed the activity I recorded wasn’t closing my Move ring. For example, I have my Move ring set to 700 cal. I recorded a 24 mi ride using my Garmin device and Garmin Connect sent the activity to Health app. The activity did not close the Move ring, which is not the case when Strava was sending the data.

    • Andy

      Nope. Garmin can close the Exercise just fine but the calorie data it sends seems to be off. Before with Strava, I could close Move ring (700 cal goal) with a 24+ mi ride. That’s not the case with Garmin.

  8. Phil S

    Thanks Ray
    In your reply to no. 5 above you mention racing against your friends being the most valuable part of Strava segments. Quite a while ago now, Strava removed the ‘Following’ leaderboard for Zwift segments from the iOS app. You can still see this ‘Following’ leaderboard for non-Zwift segments on the iOS app and you can also see the ‘People I’m Following’ leaderboard for Zwift segments on the website.
    I find this odd as most of my friends have ridden the same Zwift segments as me but virtually none have ridden the same local road segments as me which makes this leaderboard much more valuable for Zwift segments than for non-Zwift segments.
    Any idea why they did this and whether they plan to reverse this change?

  9. lincoln

    This is indeed super-annoying. I’d finally got to place in devices/apps/setting where:
    1. I didn’t get duplicate inputs from Zwift Companion & Strava
    2. My Apple Watch worked great for HR in Zwift (Watch wifi off is the key)
    3. My Health/FitnessRings all worked
    4. Fitness Totals widget all synched

    So much hassle getting to a nice stable setup that just worked every time (for months) and then this change…

    What are Strava even getting out of this?

  10. Paul

    I am using Polar device and all my activities go directly to Polar Flow. Flow is then integrated with other platforms like Strava, TP, Google Fit etc. No problems, no duplicates. And to be honest I see no point in syncing activities via Apple Health if this can be done directly. For me the only workflow can be via device platform. If that platform sucks… oh well, change the platform (which is the only thing I care about because the device is jus a data gathering sensor array).

  11. vicent

    my wife uses strava, zwift and apple watch. So she was all week asking me why it was not syncing, so here we have the answer….
    Would it work with training peaks?
    if I connect her zwift to training peaks, would health get the information from there?

  12. Art

    As some have said, Strava has no obligation to perform this function, but that’s not the point. The point is whether this function serves their business or not. Is this going to attract more users? Of course not. Save them money? Can’t see how. Is this going to cause some users to go away? Yes, I am one of them. As a semi-casual user, this was one area that I felt was worth being a paying customer. Now, not so much.

    • Matt

      It takes time and money to format the data correctly and then subsequently maintain it. Money that, as far as I’m aware, those third-parties aren’t paying Strava for. So from that standpoint, I can understand coming from someone who does has had to maintain data mapping. That said, they should have AT LEAST given more advanced warning. But maybe they tried reaching out to the other parties and those parties balked at Strava. When it comes down to it, you can vote with your dollars by not paying/using Strava, but also need to direct that energy to the third-party.

    • Matthew Cervi

      I disagree. *I* am paying Strava for that service.

      It’s like when ISPs complain that Netflix should be paying them money to transport their video data to me. No, the only reason my ISP is moving data from Netflix is because I, as the ISP’s already-paying customer, is requesting it.

      Similar to Art, this was actually the main reason I felt it was worthwhile to maintain a Strava subscription.

    • Matt

      I don’t think it’s exactly the same. Has Strava ever advertised the movement of the data to Apple as part of their paid features? If so, then I’m mistaken, but I don’t ever recall that being part of their paid package. I don’t believe Strava ever said “If you pay us, then you get this specific feature.” You seem to have decided to pay them because they offer it (akin to a donation) vs purchasing the feature itself. Since they removed it, you don’t have to “donate” any longer.

      (This coming from someone who has been a paid member to Strava, but isn’t renewing as I don’t get enough value from it.)

    • Ryan King

      I would say I “decided to donate/pay” because of the entire app experience.
      While this feature may not be directly what I’m paying for, it is, to me, an important feature of the app.
      When I purchase an “upgraded” feature of any product, it is not in lieu of the basic features.
      When a product or app offers a feature for years, then removes that feature (paid or not), it affects the entire product/experience, and while I recognize there are not strong competitors in this field currently, it would make me look for an alternative app.

      Surely Strava could have anticipated that?

    • ShermanOl

      Even if users are not paying fees, Strava still reaps the benefit of non-paying users (or they would not allow them). They have almost 3000 activities of mine to data mine, and I have willingly traded my data for their services. I’ve also sent Strava routes to several non-users over the years, at least one of whom then signed up. Their value is in being the default option and having all the data and they seem to take that for granted in making this unannounced decision.

    • Liz

      As a paid subscriber for 10 years, it would have been nice to receive an email telling us, it would no longer transferring data to Health. Instead, they still have all the functions in the App to connect to Health and we were all clicking, unclicking, uninstalling, installing, turning off, turning on, etc. for no reason. Poor customer communication!

  13. Lauren

    I spent hours trying to fix this over the weekend. It’s time to dump Strava and try something else. It’s frustrating that they didn’t bother to announce this.

    • Emily Waitz

      Same – what a waste!

    • ShermanOl

      Likewise wasted hours. Even wiped my Watch. Why would anyone think to look at a instruction page on Strava support concerning a feature that users had been using without issues for years?

    • Luke

      Several years ago I was a hugely active endurance athlete (one ironman, multiple 70.3, multiple marathons, initial zwift beta user, etc etc etc). Life got in the way for a bit, but I’m now getting back into things.
      I’d let my Strava subscription lapse because I didn’t need it when I wasn’t actually exercising much, but was considering rejoining. Continued actions like this (even for a service I don’t need) made that decision easy.
      I can’t think of the last “wow, this new Strava feature is awesome” coverage here or anywhere…

  14. Matt

    The thinking behind this just kills me. Not only is it not hard from a technical perspective Strava doesn’t seem to comprehend the potential consumer ramifications. Sure, they have roughly 100 million users. That’s the same number of people that use an Apple Watch. Not that all Apple Watch users use Strava but that is a sense of scale for the Apple ecosystem. Now, when it comes to iPhones, that number jumps to around 1 billion. Yes, that’s with a B. How many of that Billion use Strava. Or rather, how many of Strava’s 100 million use iPhones. I don’t know but I’m willing to guess that number is significant. So WHY piss off such a large segment of your market? In what world does that make good business sense?

  15. Jody

    Android user here, just read mainly to see Apple folks squirm (I also realize something similar could easily come to an Android device) but also curious – as TR user – don’t they have something in place that prevents duplicate post from a workout? When I used a head unit and TR to record – rarely got duplicate post from the TR sync and wahoo sync?

    • Andy McKay

      This isn’t time for Android users to gloat. And I say that as an Android user. Google Fit is rife with landmines when it comes to syncing data. I’ve finally got everything working, but it’s taken a LOT of work, and workarounds from multiple aggregation/syncing apps to unify data from multiple sources and end up without tons of duplication.

    • ShermanOl

      It’s an easy fix–or was. Enable Strava to read and write everything to Apple Health except reading cycling activities. (It would export the data and then find it in Apple Health and import it back!) This was the single sentence they needed to write in their instructions to fix the duplicate issue, which is why I think their explanation is false and intentionally misleading.

  16. Jeffrey P Miesemer

    This weekend, after wasting too much time trying to figure out the problem why activities no longer synced to my OURA Ring app, I immediately voted with my $$ and canceled my “premium” service with Strava.

  17. On one hand, I don’t think its Strava’s responsibility to be the sole proprietor for sending well formed data to Apple Health. On the other hand, Strava was providing a valuable service to a lot of its users and is removing it only because, according to them, some people are using it in a fairly benign way. So there was no real cost to letting it exist as is. I actually don’t think they even needed to fix it because I’m sure people who had duplicated data understood what was going on and at that point, it wasn’t even their responsibility to fix.

    But this is the sort of somewhat passive-aggressive behavior that caused me to cancel my subscription years ago to Strava. I don’t need to pay to like my friends’ workouts and I’d rather do my serious analysis on a platform like Training Peaks.

  18. Steve Chmiewliski

    So the question is now, functionality has been removed which wasn’t commucaited, and to those of use who pay to use Strava, should we now be asking for a reduction / refund?

  19. tsav

    My initial thought was that Garmin (as the biggest controller of where their data can go) or some other platform told Strava to stop. Considering that platforms charge for using their api out for direct connections, it seems that Strava is giving a one point access to replace multiple api subscriptions.
    From their response, though, it seems like that’s not the case.

  20. Ryan King

    I’m most frustrated by the lack of warning on this.
    Come on Strava. You HAVE to know better than to turn off a service that your consumers have been using without a warning message of “data sent from 3rd party apps to apple health will be turned off in 14 days”.

    Why would I bother having Zwift send data to Strava?
    Which means, as Ray pointed out….I won’t interact with Strava as much….
    Which means second guessing….do I really need that subscription?

    Perceived decreased value is a big motivator for consumers.

  21. dr_lha

    So anyone know another way to get a SYSTM workout into Apple Health? I run it on my iPad (phone screen too small), and relied on Strava to get the workout into Apple Health.

    • Jon Lee

      Try the RunGap app, it works great for me.

    • Jacob Scheckman

      @Jon in the Settings in RunGap, do you sign into “Wahoo Fitness”? I guess I’ll find out next time I do a workout in Systm but unlike other platforms, when I first signed in to Wahoo Fitness in rungap I didn’t sync over any past workouts from Systm?

  22. Nick

    I’m not sure Strava has a business plan.
    1. Put almost everything in the free plan and attract loads of users across the entire fitness market
    2. Remove/break features randomly and without notice
    3. Profit?

    There are so many opportunities to provide *better* syncing and API integrations for premium subscribers but they can’t see it. Instead they are hell-bent on worsening the existing features and somehow thinking customers won’t get really annoyed. This is totally backwards. The only thing they’ve got going for them is there is still no relevant competitor (presumably because there’s really not much money to be directly made in this market, partly thanks to their original free offering being too good). I still enjoy using Strava but I long since stopped paying for it; I am voting with my wallet rather than my feel since there’s nowhere else to go!

    • okrunner

      Nick,
      Garmin is a relevant competitor but as you indicate Garmin doesn’t seem to care or promote it’s News Feed. I do have friends that post only to Garmin News Feed and not Strava but they are the outliers.

    • Nick

      But Garmin are in the business of selling hardware. They provide just enough software so people can use their devices but are more than happy to delegate the software side of things to Strava. I think that’s evident by their lack of improvements/promotion, as you say. I can’t think of a company that is only “selling” software in the fitness space and making any money! Wahoo have claimed for years they will develop something and then (4 years later?!) are still yet to deliver anything. And they are probably better off for it.

  23. Robert Otte

    It seems to have affected my rides on Fulgaz too. I would ride on Fulgaz, it would go to Strava, which would send it to Health on my Iphone which would send it to my diet app Noom.
    Thanks for the info, I have been working for a week trying to determine why Noom stopped receiving the calories I burned while riding on my trainer. Hopefully, they will this fix it or I may just stop paying for a Strava subscription and just use the free one.

  24. okrunner

    Strava is their own worst enemy. I dropped my paid account at least two years ago. Between dropping sensor support, woke policital b.s. which has no place in a fitness app, etc. etc. etc. they continue to minimize usefullness and maximize their level of agitation. I still upload to the free version for the social aspect but could really care less about it. I use RunGap to get Coros data (when using a Coros device) to Garmin and use Garmin as my main trusted repository. If Garmin would promote their connections and News Feed more, they could easily compete with Strava on the social front. Just seems as though Garmin doesn’t care as they never mention it in advertising or otherwise.

  25. Neil

    I would think that Strava would want to be the central source for all fitness data. This seems like a great retention play given their subscription model.

    On top of that, what is even more strange, is that Apple Health already has de-duping from a data perspective. So the problem they “solved” wasn’t even a real problem.

    Just confusing all around.

  26. Cleave Law

    Okay, a few weeks ago I started testing tapiriik to get Zwift data to sync to SportTracks through Strava. Ride data that Garmin gets from Zwift doesn’t transfer to SportTracks. Since I add comments to my rides in Strava for the social aspect, I thought going from Strava to SportTracks was my best option.
    I was using the free version of tapiriik with some success until a couple of days ago. I guess I’m in the even smaller population of people who were populating Zwift data into SportTracks through Strava. I guess I’m back to downloading .fit files from Zwift and uploading them to SportTracks. ☹

    • Scott McCauley

      I too have tried many times to find a good way to import Zwift activities into SportTracks. And like you, sadly, I’m still stuck downloading and uploading .fit files. I have a ton of history in SportTracks, so I’m clinging to that platform. I would love to see more investment in it.

  27. Ben

    Thanks for this. I spent considerable time trying to reconnect apple and such, glad to know it wasn’t user error on my part. I’ve sent Strava an angry email, canceled my subscription, and tweeted about it, and don’t know how else to express my displeasure.

  28. Mancil Gray

    thank you for this post – I’ve been trying to fix this stupid problem for days and had not idea Strava did this. I have canceled my renewal this year – I’m done paying extra if they are taking features away. I also emailed them and complained. I am a ring guy – I’ve closed all my rings for almost 500 days in a row – I now need to either wear my apply watch while I ride (which I hate doing) or manually add the workout (which sucks)

  29. Pablo

    Frustrating. My health insurance company has a wellness program that tracks, among other things, exercise time synced *from Apple Health.* One of the big reasons I decided to try the paid Strava subscription this year is that, what the heck, my rewards are covering the cost. I’m 6 days short of the end of my free trial and I just canceled.

  30. okrunner

    link to businessofapps.com

    Interesting info on profitability of Strava. It appears they still may not be profitable but the article claims they are valued at $1.5 billion. With $72 million revenue but not being profitable, not sure how that makes any sense.

  31. bryan smith

    Time to cancel Strava premium, just lost all of its appeal as a one stop solution.

  32. Pat

    I canceled my premium over this. Strava support tells you to kinda piss off. So they don’t seem to care.

  33. AC

    It’s like Strava and Zwift are in a competition to see who can demonstrate the least concern for their paying customer.

    • GLT

      I suspect neither had forecasted how successful their offerings would become when they started their journeys. If they appear they don’t want to grow their base, then that may actually be the case.

      For this one action I wonder if they were given the impression it would be better for their long term relationship with Apple to back off a bit.

  34. Rick Maranta

    Great analysis of the situation. I feel for you apple users. Interoperability is one of the most frustrating things about these watches and services. I used to use Samsung Health but now have a Fenix 7 watch and switched to Garmin Connect because of the detail. But the app could use a team of UX experts to sort out that mess. I miss some of the stuff in Samsung health. I now use a combo of Garmin Connect and Strava but still have not found the one app to rule them all. It boggles me why Strava doesn’t do more given they have such a good user-base.

  35. Thanks, Ray. Let’s hope that Strava purchases a ticket to the clue bus and turns this back on. It is a PITA to have to put activities into Apple Health, where it was seamless before. Yeah, you can get duplicate activities, and it is a little trouble to track down, but their support burden is way less then the irritation I’m experiencing as a paying customer…

  36. I use Apple Health as a way to connect my Strava activities to my Oura ring. It was the only way to get Strava and Oura to communicate… now it’s gone.

    • Jerry Sobel

      Same for me. I needed this integration for my Oura ring. Now I have to manually enter it and that sucks eggs. I doubt Oura will integrate with Zwift or Garmin etc. They have their own significant software challenges.

  37. Hunter

    I have question. My wife is trying to get her daily steps from her Apple Watch to show up in her garmin connect app. How does she do that? Thanks, Huntet

  38. SojuForAll

    Maybe I don’t have all the facts… IMO I see the previous arrangement as beneficial to Apple.
    1. Strava was sending data to Apple for free.
    2. Apple requires license to connect to their API
    3. If API to Apple Health changes, then Strava spends programming resources
    4. Apple is able to data mine health trends with mininmal resources and delevop competitive products.

    Again, don’t flame me because I don’t have all the facts. But I have worked in companies, where the bigger bully was getting more from our hard work than we were.

    • Nick

      Then all they had to do was move it behind the premium subscription. They just killed it instead. It’s dumb

    • SojuForAll

      Yes, I think they could have done better job at implementing changes.

      But maybe there are sour grapes between Apple and Strava like Apple and Epic games. I want to see smaller companies rewarded for their innovations. Surely Apple is getting something from sharing health metrics with insurance companies. I think it is especially true since Apple has expressed interest moving into healthcare services. As a user it is nice having data aggregated in one place, but as a business who benefits the most with little effort. As a companies get bigger such as Apple, I feel that our choices also get smaller.

    • TedP

      That was kinda my thinking as well. When I first saw this I thought of Apple’s “my way or the highway” approach to everything. I was surprised by all the grief Strava was getting but, everyone’s comments here put it in perspective and I’m sold, it wasn’t just Apple’s fault.

      Strava could’ve kept the functionality and made it a Premium feature. If everyone shifts to RunGap @$12 yr or whatever, Strava left money on the table.

  39. Liz

    Thanks for posting this, it was driving me crazy! Even though my Garmin files are going over to Apple/Health/Fitness watch, it is not counting my calories correctly. For instance, I did a 34 mile bike ride on Saturday, Garmin said I burned 1289 calories. My Move ring only shows 670 calories! at the very bottom of the red move chart, it says Total 2,066 CAL! Totally screwed up!

  40. Luke

    So for all of those saying that it is not Strava’s responsibility to sync data to Apple Health or anywhere else for that matter, two thoughts come to mind based on my use case:

    1) It was a feature that used to work, I paid for Strava in part knowing that the feature was there. Simply dropping it without notice is quite frustrating for a subscriber. Even with notice it still would not have been nice, but simply updating a sentence on a support page I have to go and find out myself is not a pleasant experience. I actually cost them more money with this action as I had to contact support to figure out this was the case. In that sense I feel they do in fact have a responsibility to their customers.

    2) Even though somewhat counterintuitive, syncing to AppleHealth (AH) from Garmin/Zwift/Wahoo/Whatever, made Strava the final destination for me where I would spend more time on their service. I would know that I get the rings notification thing and not open Health, the Garmin connect thing or anything else and would then review my rides on Strava. Now that is not the case I can view my ride directly in the primary data source and manually import to AH or use my watch as a heart rate monitor (Which has it’s own issues), or even worse use some sort of third app like the ones provided in the comments.

    I will now get the notification that it is uploaded to Strava and not bother checking there as I already have the details I needed. This way they have managed to switch their role to an app I might find superfluous. Some people already have and possibly canceled their subscription.

    3) Doing this only creates potential competitors – Garmin for example, may’ve not cared to do AH integration properly or about their app, knowing that people go to Strava anyways. Now that they see there is a market for this they can capture a customer base and gather health data for them.

    • lincoln

      2) This is a good point. Strava is (was?) the single place I tracked all my exercise… Maybe I start making it Apple Fitness. It used to be “On Strava or didn’t happen”… seems that is gone.

  41. Kevin LaCour

    This is not a “stomp my feet, cancel my subscription” comment. Truth be told, I always struggled with subscribing to Strava. All my data that I and my coach needs get to Training Peaks from Garmin connect. I only really used Strava, rarely, for the social aspect, and the segments (especially since a LOT of segments they use in my area I created …). After they broke the link to Relive a few years ago, I stepped back even further. This article reminded me that in February I started a trail subscription with Strava for a month, with the intent to continue for a year.

    Yea, well, that’s over with. I just cancelled the free trail. I feel bad for those that have been affected. Being a former developer in a prior lifetime (how prior – I started with COBOL in 1983 …) I understand your easy to implement changes to fix this. This smells like some bad management decision. Because I’ve smelled that smell before.

    • KevinC

      Just FYI, I just discovered that RidewithGPS now integrates with Relive (another totally stupid Strava move)! :^) I’ve long used and paid for RWGPS for route planning long before Strava could even do that. RWGPS also has segments, so for people who only compete against themselves… it’s another option. Doesn’t export to Apple though.

  42. usr

    Funny how easily Strava seems to miss any “strategic goal” perspectives: being the central data switching ground to many people is an incredibly valuable asset, envied even by giants like Apple or Google, and they just – well, apparently ignore it.

    Maybe we should take that as a sign that it’s a nimble company, one where teams and indivituals are allowed to make mistakes without triple-checking every little decision with an entire formation of strategists?

  43. KevinS

    Thanks Ray I was wondering why some walks on IMY Garmin hadn’t synced to Apple Fitness.

    For me if Strava want to been at the centre of our fitness wheel. Then they better reverse their action. I’d found the best way to manage all the different activity recording options was to push them all to Strava and have it write to Apple Health.

    As a paid subscriber to Strava this has me thinking of closing my account.

  44. Adam Smith

    This creates a real PITA. I struggled for a long time to get everything to sync and Strava ended up providing the solution. It is certainly one reason I paid for premium. I felt I was supporting the work they did to make my life easier. Not sure I will cancel premium. I do enjoy seeing my own progress on segments. But it certainly has me thinking about other options since I do not use any of the other premium features. I sent an email to support. Hopefully if enough people complain they will rethink the decision.

  45. AFAIK, Huawei fitness devices don’t / won’t sync to Strava at all. It’s the reason I ditched an otherwise pretty decent bit of hardware.

  46. Nicholas Frenette

    I use RunGAP application to synch all my activities between various platform and it still works perfectly fine

  47. Emily Waitz

    Ray, you’re my hero (as always) for reporting this news. I wasted SO MUCH time this weekend try to figure this out, searching, and nothing. I am so glad I looked again today.

    All – this was not a Premium feature of Strava’s. I have a free account. Although, I sure would have paid for a subscription for this to keep working. Similar to another person here, I had this all figured out. No dups, perfectly timely uploads, rings closing no problem. Missed opportunity on their part, for sure.

    I do think it would be right for Garmin and others to get their poop in a group and send the right info, so that we didn’t need a workaround of any kind. For me it syncs time, but not calories. I really honestly don’t care about the detailed calories but I do find motivation from the Move ring.

    • Mark

      Yes, thanks Ray. I also wasted time on this and could find no other decent explanation.

    • Liz

      Emily, so do you think this is an Apple problem or a Garmin problem? My rides from Garmin, are coming in but the calorie counts are totally off. I’m like you, I get motivated to close my rings and have a 1,058 day move streak going🤪

    • Emily Waitz

      Honestly, I am not sure. I thought it was a Garmin problem, but maybe it’s both not working together on a solution.

  48. Mark

    I wasted a bunch of time trying to find out why Strava was not syncing to Apple Health, now I know. I recently started using Apple Health as a data aggregator for everything, including Zwift and Wahoo Elemnt (outside) via Strava. I can’t do this anymore since there is no way to get data directly from Wahoo Elemnt and Zwift (on PC) to Apple Health. However, I just installed RunGap (thanks DC Rainmaker) and it appears to work well. I am a software architect and I am still struggling to understand my new data flow with Zwift, Wahoo Elemnt, and Fenix watch (walking/hiking/steps) pushing data to Garmin Connect, Apple Health, RunGap, Strava, and RideWith GPS. With so many different connections, I don’t think this will be reliable, since something/somewhere will always be broken.

  49. Jay Haldors

    Thank you for the article! Love your work and reviews. I thought I had gone crazy and have been trying to force sync since the 8th….very frustrating. Very much less reason for me to use Strava as it is fun for the social but not required for me for tracking, I would rather pay Strava than a third party option to fill the gap…their choice.

  50. Mark Jarman

    Can’t get wahoo ELEMNT to automatically update Apple health and have to manually upload workouts to Apple health and the data it sends doesn’t update Apple health the same way Strava did. Feel as if Apple health and watch redundant now.

  51. Alan

    I think this happened to me once and I easily corrected the issue just as you described.

    This seems like a solution to a problem that doesn’t really exist.

  52. basti

    thanks for that comment… such a bummer

    i just canceled my subscription.

  53. Aaron

    Having this functionality break suddenly sucks, but otherwise I am totally fine with Strava breaking connection with Apple Health and I think it makes strong sense from a business perspective. Strava wants to be where people track and share info, it’s not a syncing service. Is there a benefit to them to allow them to sync data to apple health? Certainly the data flowing into Apple Health benefits Apple, and maybe the users of Apple Health, but without them paying Strava why would they do it?

    Also I searched for Apple Health and it appears to only be a phone app, not even a web based cloud service, and it’s only available on proprietary phone hardware and OS. There’s no egalitarian reason here for Strava to do anything here. If there is some neat feature that Apple Health enables, I am not sure what it is, but I am sure Strava would rather you come to them for that premium feature, and I bet that feature wouldn’t be platform locked to only Apple devices.

    • Laura

      The value for Strava of being a central repository of fitness data is huge. Strava gets the data from every single workout I do at the moment, whether that’s on TR, Zwift or an outside ride vis my Element Bolt. This makes me spend more time on their platform (so more likely to spend on Premium) and gives them a complete picture of my riding that they can analyse or sell.

      TrainerRoad have already said in the last couple of days that they’re going to add Apple Health integration to their app, so that’s data I’ll no longer upload to Strava. I imagine Zwift will do the same. Wahoo already support it. I now have no real reason to upload any of my rides to Strava and there goes any case I had for continuing with my Premium sub

    • As noted in the intro, this post isn’t really for Android people. 😉

      I think it’s also pretty clear in the intro and subsequent comments that people do both leverage and find value in Apple Health. Further, these are the same people that *pay Strava*, which, as a business, is actually how Strava remains in-business (as they’ve shifted away from charging their partner companies).

  54. Hobe

    Every time I gripe that Garmin used to count Zwift miles for achievements and arbitrarily stopped, somebody in the Garmin boards will tell me how easy it is to just download all my activities, edit them in a separate editor to change the recording device and re-upload. Now more people will experience this anti-consumer BS. Most of us use these systems BECAUSE they work together. I only started using Strava when they broke Garmin connect Zwift integration. I have thousands of duplicate events because apparently that’s how Garmin and Strava want it.

  55. Alberto

    Just to clarify. HealthKit it is available for iOS, iPadOS, macOS (through catalyst) and obviously watchOS. Is not available for tvOS

    • Where do you see it’s available for iPadOS and MacOS? Apple is pretty clear it’s only on iOS/watchOS: link to developer.apple.com

    • Adam

      If you click on the API Documentation link you will go to:
      link to developer.apple.com

      On the right it shows the availability.

      Availability
      iOS 8.0+
      iPadOS 8.0+
      Mac Catalyst 13.0+
      watchOS 2.0+

      Technologies
      HealthKit
      HealthKitUI

    • Yeah, I’ll be honest, that page makes no sense. There’s no Apple Health on an iPad or Mac, and thus, I’m not sure what Apple Healthkit would get you there. Not to mention the interwebs is choke-full of articles (including very recent ones), discussing the lack of Health/HealthKit on iPad/Mac.

      I’ll defer to an iPad/Mac developer, but my guess here is that article is just tagged wrong, since every other Apple developer article states – even clearly, Apple HealthKit isn’t on an iPad: link to developer.apple.com

      “HealthKit is not available on iPad.”

      Or here: link to developer.apple.com

      “Call this method before calling any other HealthKit methods. If HealthKit isn’t available on the device (for example, on an iPad), other HealthKit methods fail with an errorHealthDataUnavailable error.”

      (Obviously, this isn’t pointed at you, but just what appears to be incorrectly tagged Apple documentation).

  56. Andrew

    It seems like this wouldn’t be a problem for me and many others if Garmin and Zwift on other devices reliably saved move ring data in the way that Apple Watch wanted. But it doesn’t. At least this post inspired me to track my ride today on both my Apple Watch and Edge to get credit it for it in Activity. Then, Apple Watch estimated the ride at almost 40% more calories than the Garmin. Long-term, I’m not entirely sure what I’ll do— the Apple Watch is a better daily smartwatch for me, Garmin and Zwift offer devices/software that’s better for activities.

  57. TimR

    Ugh. So glad I PAID for my Strava subscription because I actually like to pay for services that are providing value even when their freemium model doesn’t (quite) force me to.

    But seriously, this is mind bogglingly stupid of Strava. They are the platform that (used to) just work to connect. Not the trap of so many others where a>b works b>c works but a>c doesn’t or breaks something else.

    I just ‘downgraded’ my subscription – with no notice 😜 – with a pointed note as to why (not that anyone will read it).

    Oh, and can we talk about Apple for a moment? Why are they insisting on Apple Health and HealthKit being Phone ONLY. At a MINIMUM it should be available on iPad too and I’d argue MacOS and now AppleTV as well. Ideally it would have a web and API interface as well. That is how you make a hub technology work. I’m sure there is hand waving about privacy issues, but that is BS. At least in-apple-ecosystem (iOS, iPadOS, MacOS), they could handle that easily.

  58. Katy

    Thank for this post, I’ve been so fricking frustrated this entire week wondering the heck was going on and not finding any answers on Zwift Forums.

    The downstream impact for me is that my HealthMate app (by Withings and with metrics from their smart scale, heart rate monitor, sleep mat & thermometer) reads my activity data and calories from Apple Health. As does my Noom app where I track caloric intake which varies according to my exercise/burned calories -> without the data provided from Health being my activity hub (Zwift to Strava to Apple Health) my 2 downstream apps are impacted to the point of not being useful.
    I am completely miffed on how to sync Zwift directly to Apple Health (or perhaps directly to Withings’ HealthMate and Noom).

    How best can I escalate my frustration to Strava as a paid subscriber?

  59. Mark

    I now understand why exactly 1 person I know has duplicate activities, I think when they use their Garmin Watch.

    I don’t know / follow a tonne of people, but was it ever a HUGE, we need to definitely change the platform, problem ?

  60. Jake

    Great explanation.
    I was one of the best people impacted by this that spent a bunch of time wasted figuring out why it was no longer working. I think Strava’s approach here was at best rude. The garmin apple integration sucks and the outcome of that was a month of duplicates I had to delete. I really liked Strava as a clearinghouse for all activities and stable data source for my rings etc in apple. Lame move. Bad customer service just like you said.

  61. Jordan

    This frustrates me greatly, but thank you for writing about it. Maybe they’ll pay attention and stop being recalcitrant about it.

  62. Mr. T

    Ray,

    this post got me thinking on a tangent. Who owns the data? is the user? Is it the source – Garmin, Zwift, etc? or someone else. What are the ramifications of the data privacy laws here especially around deletion of data? I know the US is still in the early stage compared to Europe and this probably has nothing to do with any of that. But still got me thinking.

    • In this case, I don’t think we’re running up against any privacy laws/concerns. Since the data is freely available on both sides of the fence. We’re just running up against feature removal. Basically, Strava decided it didn’t want to be the FedEx man anymore.

  63. Laura

    I think Strava are not really getting to the point here. It’s all about cost surely. 100m users, Zwift has what 17m? More now I assume. Often when I Zwift I record multiple “rides” so that could be 17+m activities daily and therefore 17+m api calls. There’s at the minimum a server cost to that to dump 3rd party data into Health Kit.

    I had set up my apps to avoid duplicates. I’ve turned Garmin sync back on (I actually first noticed as my outdoor ride didn’t sync to Apple Health) and yes it doesn’t update “move”’on Apple Watch but I don’t really care about that. Interestingly Oura does count the active calories (it ONLY pulls my data from Health Kit) but no HR so again Garmin fail.

    As a strava premium subscriber I think being the sync option for 3rd party data is something I’m happy to pay for. I don’t make much use of other features except a few live segments on my Garmin (that I like to test myself against myself on). I’d rather do that than use run gap which I did try for a while.

    • Yeah, the general state of how different companies inject data into Apple Health is mostly a mess, and rarely consistent. As you noted, Oura isn’t consistent there either. I wonder if Apple actually even has a simple ‘best practices’ guide for fitness data from Health trackers. Surely most other major tech with developer API companies would have whitepapers and such with best practices. And maybe Apple does – would love to see it if so.

      As for Zwift, they’ve got about 900K subscribers, so, substantially less than 17M (and of course a chunk of those are Android, another vast chunk has never enabled sync to Apple Health, and finally I’m sure there’s like 6 people that haven’t enabled Zwift to Strava sync). There’s likely very little real cost to Strava from an API standpoint to push into Apple Health, since when the user opens the app, it’s already loading that data anyways on the local app – so the push from local to local within your phone doesn’t “cost” Strava anything. So that bit is functionally probably a wash.

  64. the6kRunner

    excellent solution from Strava and Kudos, finally the time DCR learns what a proper software suite along the hardware means e.g. Connect and how Garmin can get away with such crap for so long time

  65. Chris-net

    Strava data in Apple Health already contains a unique I’d, Garmin data doesn’t.

    I kind of get that Strava don’t want to fix other vendors problems, but if they did it for their subscribers it’d be a notable value add.

    I was considering a Strava subscription again but now there is less point in using Strava entirely as I was mainly using it to sync fully with apple health.

  66. Rich

    Ray , so to be clear as of right now if we want our Garmin data to close our apple health rings we have to use rungap ? Or at least until Garmin fixes the Calorie or data ? If so have you ever used it ? Is it safe / reliable? I hate using another 3rd party to get my data over but if that’s the only choice now I will have to give it a try . Or maybe Strava will reverse course
    Thanks

    • Correct, RunGap is your best option for now for this…well…gap.

      I use it, not all the time, but I’ve used it for years for various things. I tend to use HealthFit more for my specific needs (which is usually the opposite, getting things out of Apple Health to .FIT files). Whereas I personally tend to have less interest in getting things into Apple Health on the regular (I do it in testing if I need to validate something).

    • fl33tStA

      but with HealthFit you can import TrainerRoad files via Dropbox too, for me this was the best way, before i tried via Strava but the Details in Apple Health are not correct.

  67. fl33tStA

    Strava probably just wants to prevent their platform from being misused, the majority of users only use it as Paula, i.e. to bring data from A to C without using B properly and of course they want everything for free.

    they are cleaning their system, so they can focus on their own services!

  68. KatieB

    I can’t seem to get HealthFit to push the data to the Activity App. Any suggestions?

  69. andreas

    well, just another one of those companies that got obviously too big… and think they don’t need the customers any more..- so sad!
    Just quit my subscription few minutes ago… I can live a happy live without Strava… and I am sure many other people will come to this conclusion , too!

  70. Marcel

    For me an ongoing issue was always that Strave failed to sync my HR to apple health for over a year now. Contacted support numerous times but without any clear guidance. In the end I had to record my HR with the watch directly independently from Zwift with my HR monitor to ensure that the HR Is synced correctly in HealthKit.
    Now with this change, Stava has become less and less useful aside from the social media aspect.

  71. Leslie Harris

    I stopped Strava a couple of years back when I didn’t really see the value of a paid subscription for the social networking. Instead I cancelled Strava, subsequently cancelled Zwift, though I do miss that more.

    Strava in free mode would work for me, but I get most of what I need with Garmin Connect. I couldn’t justify £48 per year for no additional benefit for me.

    This change by Strava will just awaken those paying the premium membership and give them a pause to consider. Bad marketing plan, unless the Apple Health change was forced upon them.

  72. Adam Ryba

    Wow, thanks for that. I noticed my red ring stop getting filled and it’s been really frustrating the past couple days. Now I know why. You’re right this is all I use Strava for these days.

  73. Knope

    “Undoubtedly, Strava feels this isn’t their problem. In their answer, they see the solution as every other company fixing their integration with Apple Health. And sure, that’s a valid technical stance to take.”

    As much as I’d like to dunk on Strava for their years of shenanigans, I’m actually kinda with them on this: not their problem if other companies don’t play nice with Apple Health. Apple itself has a history of doing all sorts of non-standard crap (Why no reply-to-text from Garmin watch if you’re using an iPhone? Because Apple, that’s why. *eyeroll*)

    From one of your comments Ray: “The theory behind Apple Health is the singular repository for everything, and that does include workouts.”

    …and that, IMO, is perhaps Strava’s angle on this: they don’t want a possible competitor to their own “repository for everything.”

    Maybe Strava is in bigger trouble than we think and views Apple Health as a threat?

    What do I know, though? I’m nobody.

  74. LPD

    You can actually have Zwift write to apple health when using an ipad with the companion app. This works fine for me. I just think you have to be wearing your apple watch so that there is heart rate data in apple health. This worked fine for me this morning.

  75. David Samuel

    Thanks for writing this! At the beginning of the article, I has halfass on Strava’s side (b/c, Strava is sort of saying, “Hey, other guys, sharpen up”), but by the end I could see what in that equation I was missing, which ultimately made it balance. Im studying the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People right now, and this directly applies: habits: 1 – be proactive (Strava failed to do things ahead of time to guide itself into a smooth landing), 2 -start with the end in mind (more users, using the app, as per their “for the athlete” vision), 3 – first things first (they failed to descend into the particular prior taking action) 4 – think win-win (they obviously abandoned any mindset of mutual benet); 5 – UNDERSTAND BEFORE UNDERSTOOD (the theme of this article); 6 – synergize (they seem to have called out other co’s, rather than Working with them for the ultimate benefit of the athlete; 7 -Sharpen the axe (they clearly arent learning).

  76. Kinuzki

    Thanks for writing this! I spent the whole day yesterday trying to figure out why my Zwift ride didn’t sync to Apple Health. Strava really shot themselves in the foot here as people are cancelling their subscriptions left and right. Hopefully they come to their senses in a day or two and undo this change. Time to check out RunGap, I guess.

  77. Erik Matey

    Can anyone detail the settings needed between rungap and GC to get activities imported (automatically) from GC to Apple health – that will move the calories rings?

  78. David Lehrner

    Thanks for this article Ray. I was wondering why I had 200 minutes of exercise but no calories burned. I’ve always had duplicates in Apple Health but Apple seemed to handle it without issue. I never realized that Garmin did such a bad job reporting to Apple Health. We can all just hope Garmin simply fixes their reporting issues.

  79. Jerry Sobel

    This sudden change has been a nightmare for me. One day everything is syncing and the next nothing. No notice from Strava. Terrible customer service. Just awful. I sent a support ticket and the response I got back was that they changed there integration with the Health App. I spent literally hours trying to see if some setting changed in my phone and ran and re-ran over and over again the apps. Thank you for your post.
    I have an Oura ring and I no longer have the integration after a ride outside or on Zwift. I find the Garmin connect connection to work poorly. So now I have to manually enter my workouts to my Oura app and that sucks because I am making estimates of everything. I personally see no reason to continue to subscribe to Strava.

  80. Kevin

    Great job making our concerns known! Strava changed their mind 🙂

    • Other Kevin

      Ha – it looks like they replied to all the Kevin’s of the world first…?

      Sincerely, a different Kevin (the one who’s post is immediately below this).

    • Kevin

      They know who runs the world 🙂

      PS – to the others reading this, I swear it’s not me talking to myself…

  81. Kevin

    I submitted a feedback ticket with Strava, and got this back from them:

    “Hi Kevin,

    We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.

    This means your Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, Peloton, Wahoo, or whatever app you use to record your workouts on Strava will once again make their way to Apple Health to close those rings. Keep striving on and we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.”

  82. Patric

    Strava replays to my request and turned it on again!

    Hi Patric,

    We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.

    This means your Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, Peloton, Wahoo, or whatever app you use to record your workouts on Strava will once again make their way to Apple Health to close those rings. Keep striving on and we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.

  83. Timo

    It seems to be fixed. I get cycling distance in my Apple health app. Data was collected with Garmin Fenix and then pushed to Strava

  84. Andy

    Received the following email from Strava Support on 3/15 after I reported the issue on 3/14:

    “We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.

    This means your Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, Peloton, Wahoo, or whatever app you use to record your workouts on Strava will once again make their way to Apple Health to close those rings. Keep striving on and we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.”

  85. Sean L

    I noticed this over the weekend and i’ve been trying to work out what has been going on. Should have headed to DC Rainmaker straight away. It’s highly frustrating and i’ll be trying to work out how i ‘close my rings’ without recording my activity on my Garmin device and on my Apple watch !!!!
    I’m hoping they reverse their decision…..

  86. Ryan

    I got an email back from Strava today from feedback I submitted. They said that they have turned the functionality back on and recent activities should sync and catch up. Sounds like they read this post and listened to feedback

    • Janet

      I just got an email saying it’s back! I submitted a ticket as well. Apparently activity should start to sync only 1 workout across so far!
      Thanks guys. 👍

  87. Rudi

    This just got back to me, from a support ticket I filed for the very problem they caused.

    Hi 🔥Rudi,

    We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.

    This means your Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, Peloton, Wahoo, or whatever app you use to record your workouts on Strava will once again make their way to Apple Health to close those rings. Keep striving on and we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.

    For more information please visit our Help Article and any troubleshooting to sync any missing activities from the last few days.

    Best,
    Sky,
    Strava Support Team

  88. Phil W

    STRAVA HAVE TURNED IT BACK ON!

  89. Nick

    I emailed Strava support and received a response indicating that they have reversed course and toggled it back on this afternoon.

  90. Henry Gascon

    I just received this from Strava “We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.”

  91. Aattu Tiviovie

    It seems that in rare move, Strava admitted that they had not thought this through and reversed the decision.

  92. Andy

    Hi Andreas,

    We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconvenience and frustration this change caused. We have turned syncing back on for third party applications to Apple Health. All your activities should start transferring again, including those missed from the last few days.

    This means your Zwift, Garmin, TrainerRoad, Peloton, Wahoo, or whatever app you use to record your workouts on Strava will once again make their way to Apple Health to close those rings. Keep striving on and we’ll go back to the lab to figure out a better way to prevent duplicates from happening on Apple Health.

    For more information please visit our Help Article and any troubleshooting to sync any missing activities from the last few days.

    Best,
    Sky,
    Strava Support Team

  93. John Collis

    It seems this has now been reverted back by Strava

  94. James

    This article exposes the ridiculousness that the wearables market has become…the necessity of stringing together countless apps simply to look at your data in a meaningful, consolidated way. I actually agree 100% with Strava that these apps need to fix their integrations, not rely on band-aid solutions.

    For example, the fact that Garmin limits what data syncs is BS…there should be more pressure on them to fix this. But then you get into the fact that making a seamless integration with Health ends up making all of their “way behind the times” interfaces and apps somewhat irrelevant.

    • It is indeed a mess, though everyone is largely to blame in different measures. Garmin’s primary sin here is screwing up two data fields (purposefully or otherwise, I don’t know). The rest of their data they do transmit reasonably well (within the bounds of what Apple even supports, which is a fraction of what Garmin creates fitness/sport-wise).

      If we look at the landscape of wearable companies, almost all of them have gaps in what they transmit to Apple Health. In fact, I’d struggle to find any 3rd party company that does it absolutely perfectly, correctly slotting every bit of data they create to Apple Health.

      Apple’s sin here is lack of clarity on best practices for publishing said wearable data. It’s almost as if they’re afraid to do that, because its somehow highlight there are other options than their own watches. And that ignores the fact that there are and were standards for fitness data transfer that Apple entirely ignores (like .FIT/.TCX/etc files).

      If we were taking a traditional IT/developer company approach to how a company would look at these things, they’d have clear best practices papers published on the most important attributes to import, how to import them, caveats to be aware of, and so on. This isn’t complex stuff, it’s run of the mill developer stuff, that as far as I know, is missing.

      For example, let’s take Apple’s documents importing fitness data into Health via HealthKit – it literally implies that using the minute-frequency is appropriate for workout data, and calls that “high frequency”:

      “When recording a workout, you can use high frequency data (a minute or less per sample) to provide intensity charts and otherwise analyze the user’s performance over the workout. For less intensive activity, like daily step counts, samples of an hour or less often work best.”

      link to developer.apple.com

      In the fitness world, per-minute samples in a workout is laughable. Per-second is the norm, and some true high-performance applications are sub-second.

      Point being, as usual, everyone wants to beat to their own drum, and there’s no cohesion between any of these companies on this.

  95. BWC

    I’ve never been able to get Strava to send heart rate data to apple health. My scenario is this. I do a ride on Zwift with a 4iiii viiiiva hrm. That data syncs with strava and includes heart rate. Strava updates calories in Apple health so the rings close but the workout itself contains no heart rate data in the apple fitness app. I assume this is normal?

    • Stéphane

      I can’t imagine any GAFAM being dependant on a proprietary format (FIT) owned by Garmin with a closed source SDK.

  96. Travis

    Do you have any iOS / HealthKit level details on the breakdown between Garmin Connect and the Move ring?

    I have a ticket open with Garmin and their comment was:

    “I will go ahead and add this issue to an existing engineering ticket. Our engineers believe that this is an issue with iOS, not Garmin Connect, but I will still add impact.”

    I can “see” the discrepancy between Sample Details if I browse through Health data published by Garmin Connect (broken) and Strava (works again), but I don’t have API-based feedback to provide them.

    I may break down and pull logs the next time I sync a workout.

  97. Stéphane

    There’s the same with google fit, now

  98. JT

    Strava runs Bartertown.

  99. pimalu

    Strava makes the work and Apple takes the glory….
    My 2 cents to Strava!

    Mmm…maybe Apple have something in the pipeline?

  100. NotReallyMe

    I did not get an email about sync to Apple health is back, although i made a notice when i cancelled my subscription and i opened a ticket. Nevertheless it works again now and even better it includes hearts rate now, which it did not do before all this mess started :),

  101. Martijn

    Now that Strava has reversed its course, I’ve enabled exporting workouts to Apple Health, but I don’t see a difference between exports from Strava and exports from Garmin Connect. Both show the same amount of active calories and it seems as if heart rate isn’t included in both of them, although Garmin does export the heart rate data separately to Apple Health, just not linked to the workout.

  102. John O

    Garmin Connect isn’t synching to Strava today. I’m not sure whether that is connected to the issue which you have raised as I’m not (knowingly) using health apps.

  103. LB

    I’ve started using the RunGap workaround. However, there are three days where I’ve managed to get RunGap to add the missing workouts to apple health and fitness (nearly a week after the fact) but the calories/time aren’t counting towards my rings. Is there a fix for this? Wanted that March challenge 😬

  104. Ryan K

    I’ve had this issue with my apple rings vs garmin connect vs Strava and double posting activities in my fitness app.

    Basically, I set it up that garmin writes to Strava then Strava writes to apple health.

    My data shows up in all areas including apple health. I’ve never had an issue. I get ring credits in apple fitness as well.

  105. Martin

    Hi Ray, have you noticed the Garmin forums? It seems they are pretty blunt about it – “yeah we know it’s a problem of Garmin API and Apple Health but we are not planning to fix it”. To me it sounds a bit crazy client approach – this is most viewed thread in the forums at least recently… Wouldn’t it be worth of a video? I suppose many ppl have these kind of issues.

    thanks, keep it up!

    check it out: link to forums.garmin.com

  106. Audrey

    Can someone help me by explaining how to get this to work? I just switched from an apple watch to garmin, so I’m not familiar with the work around. What do the settings need to be in garmin connect, strava, and apple?

    • Martin

      Well I can’t ‘cause I never made it work. I mean it is syncing but only very limited and no health rings at all.

    • Audrey

      I can see the workout activity in apple activity, but it doesn’t update the rings. I tried with garmin, strava, and rungap, but clearly I’m doing something wrong. I also don’t understand how the strava workaround would update the standing ring and account for calories not from a workout…